Construction Begins at JBU on New 37,000 Sq. Ft Science Hall
Siloam Springs, Ark (September 5, 2001) — August 20, 2001 marked the first day of construction on John Brown University's 37,000 sq. ft. William H. Bell Science Hall. Architects MAHG of Fort Smith and contractors Nabholz Construction were awarded the contracts for the $7.8 million natural science building and target the completion date for late 2002. "Spring 2003 classes will be held in the new building," says Ms. Pat Gustavson, JBU's Vice-President of Finance and Administration. "The new facility will almost triple our science space from what we have now. The first floor will be dedicated to chemistry and biology, the second floor to physics and mathematics and the third floor to research and storage. " The new science center is part of JBU's continuing tradition of providing academic excellence. The current science center was built in 1957 to accommodate an on campus enrollment of 275 students. The new Bell Science Hall will include six state-of-the-art laboratories for chemistry, physics and biology; classrooms; offices; project areas and lab preparation rooms. The carefully planned facilities will enable JBU faculty to significantly enhance the existing curriculum, allow the programs to grow, and enable JBU to recruit additional high-quality students and faculty. Gustavson says JBU has historically been blessed with a very gifted faculty who are committed to the mission of the university. "They could be teaching elsewhere, but they want to be here because of the major emphasis JBU places on students. Now, they'll have an incredible facility that will serve our students much more effectively." Dr. Jim Holliday, Professor of Physics, anticipates that the new labs will enhance student learning. "I no longer lecture in my General Physics classes. My students learn through a hands-on, discovery-based approach that is all done in the lab. This new facility is larger, and the lab stations are designed to encourage students to work together effectively." The science hall is named in honor of Mr. William H. Bell, who served on JBU's Board of Trustees from 1971 through 1988 as a representative of the Chapman Trusts of Tulsa, Okla. Bell was instrumental in helping JBU move from regional to national prominence among small colleges and universities. John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,600 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.